Today is my first day on duty. Thankfully, it's been quiet. No tours to give. One page so far. And two arrivals tonight. (Thankfully they're staff at the Mercy Ships HQ and have been to the ship many times before). In just a few minutes I must set a table in the dining room, make a plate of cookies, get their embarkation forms ready, and change into my white/black uniform.
Their plane lands at 7pm, and who knows when they'll be here. Traffic has been rather horrible today as people return to work after the protests and demonstrations stopped normal life for 3 days... it's usually about an hour from arrival to me escorting them to their cabins... let's hope the airport pick up is not delayed and I can be done at a reasonable hour. I've heard rumors of it taking 4 hours to get to the airport... which is like 5 miles away.
Today has been an interesting day. It started out great, turned awful pretty quickly, then got better, then got really bad, then I got off work early.
This morning's devotions was a programs reporting from the rehab department. I got to see pictures of club feet patients, learn a little about their therapy, and introduce myself to Joanne who is one of the two PTs. I was excited to actually learn more about PT. :-)
Today our team just wasn't getting along. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was one of the girls chomping at the bit to leave for a weekend in Ghana. Maybe it was just the end of the week. IDK.
Gabriella checked some of the guest cabins we cleaned yesterday and had a list of stuff for us to redo. They weren't any of the cabins I had cleaned, and they were things that weren't even on the checklist nor had we been instructed that we were supposed to clean such items... so it was a little bit disheartening to hear all the things we had done wrong.
At 9:30am we set up for the New Crew Tea hosted by the Chaplain's department. Abi, Jenny, and I were there with Signe and Elin, two girls from Norway. It was kind of weird to set out cookies and make coffee for a function I was attending! But then I cleaned up and washed all the cups and plates in 15 minutes.. by myself, so that made me happy. I'm getting more efficient and am remembering better where things go and how to set up/tear down for functions. So that was my happy time.
We usually have department devos at 12:45, but there was a sign on the door saying, "Hosp. dept. devos in the Int'l longe @ 1" OK... what is going on? We all go up there and it looks like we're going to watch a video. I'm like... great. Another spiritual message. I swear I'm gonna fall asleep... oh boy...
Turns out that Gabriella read Luke 15, the passage about the lost sheep. And then Kathy put in the DVD... "Finding Nemo!" We all looked at each other in disbelief. Sarah had been really disappointed that although she'd reserved the Queen's Lounge to watch a "Finding Nemo" with friends last night, someone else had refused to honor that reservation and so they weren't able to watch it. Kathy knew she was really disappointed and frustrated about it all, we had a pretty slow afternoon, and we all needed a break from working with each other... it was a blissful 2 hours!
Today was also Peter, the Chief Steward's, birthday. We decided to make him a large cookie cake... but we had several different ideas about how to pipe on the icing to write "Happy Birthday." I filled the pastry bag and was planning on doing it the same way we learned in cake decorating class at EXCEL 3 years ago, but another girl decided she wanted to do it. OK, that's totally fine. I suggested a few hints, got a short response, and finally decided to leave before I blew up at her. It took FOREVER to get the icing on there and all the while I'm thinking... I could have done it faster. I wonder what it's gonna look like. I hope they don't mess it up...
Later, during the crew-wide party, I went up and apologized to her. Turns out she was frustrated that us other girls had kind of butted into her project since she was the one to make the cookie dough this morning. OK, I could see her point... so we sorted that out.
Kathy and I cleaned up after the party (she'd told us we could take the rest of the day off after the party, and so they all left... leaving a pretty big mess) and then I took "Pride & Prejudice" up to deck 8, got some vitamin D (sorry, folks. Looks like that African tan isn't gonna happen with all the time I spend inside), and enjoyed feeling cold with the pretty strong breeze up there. Feels like it's gonna storm tonight. :-)
So yeah. I still love the department, and some days I get along really well with the girls. Some days different ones of them have picked their favorite girl for the day and they do every cabin, every errand, and every function set up together. It's kind of strange, considering I'm the youngest one in the department by almost 2 years!
This weekend looks promising, though. I've got eggs and milk in the fridge for french toast tomorrow morning. Sccheduled a laundry slot for 10am. Gonna go to Sarakowa (the fancy-smancy resort with a nice pool and wifi where I can stream/download stuff) with a few girls. Then back here for some much-needed sleep and GRE studying.
Sunday I'm off to a local church for worship. Then nothing the rest of the day until Community Meeting at 7pm. Abi and Jenny are in Northern Togo for the weekend, so it's pretty quiet around here. Maybe I'll check out one of the Lord of the Rings extended editions and spend my time between that and tons of GRE studying... and a few cups of good English tea.
*gonna need an emotional recharge before Monday comes*